The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) plays a substantial role in the Federal Lab-to-Market ecosystem, serving as the hub of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs – also known as America’s Seed Fund. These highly competitive programs encourage domestic small businesses with the potential for commercialization to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R&D) and are an important resource for a wide-range of researchers, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups working on big ideas.
America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo enables entrepreneurs with technology developed through the SBIR/STTR programs an opportunity to present their innovative ventures to leading members of the broader innovation ecosystem and the American Public.
- To showcase innovative small businesses supported by America’s Seed Fund
- To connect these startups with resources that enable their ability to scale, grow, and thrive
- To raise public awareness for commercialization of critical innovation necessary for continued competitiveness in the global marketplace
- To amplify and support entrepreneurship that creates jobs and drives forward the U.S. economy
The inaugural America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo will be a virtual event on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, from 12:30 - 4:30 PM EDT. The half day will include the winning presentations from up to 12 small businesses utilizing SBIR/STTR derived innovation and moderated discussions on AgTech and Food Security, Climate and Energy, National Security and Defense, and Supply Chain Resiliency.
Competition Details for Startups
Submissions will only be accepted between April 1, 2022 - 12 PM EDT and April 22, 2022 - 11:59 PM EDT.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting April 15, so don’t delay! There is no fee to submit an application and no fee to present if selected.
This Competition is open only to business concerns as defined in 13 CFR 121.105. Generally, an entity organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, and which operates primarily within the United States.
To be eligible, the business concern must:
- Be the SBIR/STTR awardee firm or a successor-in-interest firm that markets a product or service using an SBIR/STTR-derived innovation
- Have received their first SBIR/STTR Phase II award in the following Fiscal Years (FY2017, FY2018, FY2019, FY2020, FY2021, or FY2022), or is a successor-in-interest firm meeting this criteria
- Be responsive to one or more technology areas
- Produce or manufacture their product(s) domestically, if the firm is marketing a product(s). Details on what constitutes domestic manufacture can be found in 13 CFR 121.406.
- Contestant Information: Basic applicant main point of contact details will be collected in the application form including phone number, email address and title.
- Company Information: Basic company information will be collected in the application form including basic company details, industry and relevant technology information.
- Video Narrative: A video of not more than five (5) minutes is required. If selected, the submitted video will be presented at the Startup Expo. The video will not be made public until it is presented at the Startup Expo. The video should describe the company and team, the applicant’s SBIR/STTR-funded technology, its impact, and what’s next for the company. Guidelines are provided to ensure videos meet minimum production standards.
Judging and Selection of Winners
Submissions will be judged based on:
- Overall Quality and Clarity of Submission
- Alignment with Expo-Specific Objectives identified above
- Alignment with objectives of the SBIR and STTR programs as defined in the SBIR/STTR Policy Directive.
- Impact, Traction, and Scalability
A Judging Panel will evaluate the submissions based on the criteria and requirements specified in these Competition Rules. The decision of the Judges will be announced on this page in May.
The members of the Judging Panel will be selected by SBA, at its sole discretion, and may be comprised of SBA personnel, other federal agency representatives, and private sector experts. Each judge will serve on a volunteer basis. Each judge will be screened by SBA to ensure he/she does not: (1) have personal or financial interest in, or serve as an employee, officer, director, or agent of, any Contestant; or (2) have a familial relationship with a Contestant.
The Judging Panel will choose up to 12 businesses, selecting those submissions that, in the Judging Panel’s judgment, best satisfy the Competition criteria and present the greatest potential to meet the Competition objectives. If an applicant does not meet the eligibility criteria and does not provide basic contact details, the application will be deemed ineligible. In addition to reviewing applications for the individual merit of their proposals, judges may also take into account the geographic location and dispersal of Contestants, the extent to which Contestants reflect the goals of the SBIR/STTR programs, industry diversity, the risk posed by the Contestant’s organization, and other similar considerations when selecting winners.